During the first wave of the COVID19 epidemic, the daily number of deaths published by Public Health England (PHE) has been the main headline in the news. On 17th July, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, called for a review of this time series after a blog published by Yoon Loke & Carl Heneghan of Oxford University questioned whether definition used by this time series was appropriate. I myself had noticed a change in the PHEr time series in my tracker of COVID19 deaths in England but I hadn’t understood why this might have been the case. After looking at the data again in more detail, I have concluded that this time series is overestimating the number of deaths by 42 +/- 13 per day since the 23rd May and it needs to be revised otherwise it will create confusion should a second wave come.
Last updated on 25th July 2020 – future updates will be infrequent.
The latest data for deaths due to COVID19 (Coronavirus) in England as of Friday 24th July 2020 show that the first wave of the pandemic is now over when one looks as excess deaths. People will still be dying of COVID19 for weeks yet but the overall number of excess deaths is now negative.